Indelible Blue Pen

Jason C. McDonald (CodeMouse92)

April 27, 2010

On the Subject of Communication, Magorium Logic, and Carrollean Prose

My family is a weird one.

But then, I’m pretty weird myself. So we’re a good match.

We have a rather unique way of communicating, through one-liners, word play, left-field comments, double entendres, reverse logic, and literal interpretation of figures of speech.

Which, if you’ve read anything on this blog, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

The primary cause for this form of communication is that my mother and I are both writers, as are many of our family members.

I might need to add a side note here that we “adopt” most of our family INTO the family as aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, sisters, brothers, etc. So, most of our family, we aren’t even related to.

That’s why we have so many writers in our family. We’re friends with so many, gradually they got sucked into the vortex of our family tree. Not that they seemed to mind one bit. It is always helpful to have someone as crazy as you are around to bounce ideas and one-liners off of.

My poor father is not a writer, so we tend to confuse him a bit in other areas. But, he has his own license for weirdness, so he usually adopts (and sometimes contributes) little quirks to our own brand of communication.

And the rest of the world looks on in complete confusion.

One of my favorite forms of unique communication in my family is something I coined “Magorium Logic.” This comes from the wonderful movie “Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium,” starring Dustin Hoffman, Natalie Portman, and Jason Bateman.

The characters, especially Mr. Magorium, tend to use a form of logic that, at first seems to be complete non-sense, until you think about it. For example, when Eric, a boy who works at the Emporium, is visiting Mr. Magorium in the hospital, he brings a euphonium.

The doctor asks where Eric found it, and Eric replied “in a supply closet.”

“We don’t store musical instruments in our supply closets,” replies the doctor.

“Well, where else could I have found it?”

Magorium logic at its best.

The other type of communication that I especially enjoy involves the reverse logic and literal interpretation. I was reading the Annotated Alice (which I highly recommend), and I figured out what to call it – Carrollean Prose. This form of communication appears quite often in “Alice in Wonderland” and “Alice Through the Looking Glass.”

The word play, however, is my favorite element of communication in my family. Case and point – my Mom and I were driving by a pizza place, and we saw on their board out front, “Buy large Hawaiian, 14.99, get a small Cowboy free.”

Well, hey, we can get a Samoan bodyguard and a little ranch hand for under 20 bucks!

I even have my own unique way of answering the phone, using word play:

“Harpo Marx translation services. We know honk about language.”

So, if you’re getting bored with the English language, spice things up like my family does!

But choose your words wisely. Otherwise, you’ll wind up making the same mistake the Mrs. Dash makers did in one of their commercials…

“Add a shake of Mrs. Dash, and watch your dinner move!”

No thank you.



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